Personally, I believe that tracking the journey of public data in social networks is going to be a big trend in the near future. We will be able to track a piece of content (posts, images, videos, etc.), from its genesis to its multiple paths on public platforms like Twitter and Google Plus, seeing who connects with it, changes it or spreads it. TinEye, Google’s Search by Image, YouTube’s “this video was seen on” notice and now Google Ripples are great ways to track the path of a popular idea.
Using these new tools, people were able to track down who tweeted the first civilian message in Pakistan when Seal Team 6 took down Osama Bin Ladin. Similarly, using the soon to be released Google+ Ripples, we can track just how influential Sergey Brin is on the screen captures below, starting with his message and seeing it ‘ripple’ out into the social world of Google+. With Ripples we may start to clearly see how less public figures are having a lot of influence on the community at large or at least planting the seed to big things.
Soon to be released: explore Google+ Ripples here.